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double parked trucks. they said when trucks are double parked you won't be able to make that turn. we had been working with them throughout the project and they were standing firmly in position to that one piece that one of the mta board members motioned that that particular bulb be deleted. but, again, i'll just confirm that all the bulbs have been looked at with turning radiuses in mind to make sure that trucks, including emergency vehicle, could make those turns. >> supervisor olague: basically there are no longer two bulbouts there on that street. it's just been -- one has been eliminated. >> correct. >> supervisor olague: and then the other issue that someone mentioned was the traffic study. so i wonder if you could comment on that, that there was no traffic study but many of us were under the impression that there was a traffic study. and it seems to me -- and i was curious to know who conducted that study because there was some comment that it wasn't
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independent. i'm not quite sure what's meant by that but if you could elaborate a little bit that would be helpful. >> like i mentioned we've been studying this for a year now but it was nine months in the planning process and we conducted traffic counts, and it was mta staff who collected traffic count data. we had an independent party help us collect some of the bike data, but we also collected bike data by ourselves. we collect our own speed surveys. and then our ma engineers built a traffic model, a simulation model, using industry accepted standards, the highway capacity manual, 2000 edition, collected by our staff, analyzed by traffic engineers and peer reviewed by another traffic license engineer and ther theres process with the planning department to further fine that to make sure we were capturing
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all aspects of the project. >> was that published? >> yes. that was part of the exemption -- the cat ex, categorical exemption. >> supervisor olague: this has more to do with the project because the issue keeps coming up and i don't really like to mix the two but we're here. and i heard this in the past, and i've discussed this already with the mta staff. and the rationale and even with director reiskin, and that's the rationale behind not using the alternative routes, the paved street and these other routes that folks have proposed over the years. if you could comment on that, even though it doesn't relate to ceqa necessarily. >> sure. so the appellants, and also other members of the community have brought this up during the planning process, what they said was you should really do nothing, you should encourage people to ride on paige street
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and hayes street in that you shouldn't do anything to oak street and fell street. so we talked to the community about that and we said what if we just directed people to peaje street and hayes street and we won't do anything for people who walk and bike on fell. they said you have to execute more turns to get there, takes 20% longer and there's also hills. in fact in order to get up to paige from the panhandle it's like a 12% grade. to put that in terms of energy expended it's about four times the amount of effort to get up that 12% grade as it would be to go down oak street as you normally would. so people said it's out of the way, it's slower, it's taxing on what's already a lot of people do a long commute from the west down to downtown. so it just was not a desirable route for people who ride a bike. some people choose to go that way. some people prefer to ride in mixed traffic on those streets, you know, streets and stop signs but more people would prefer to
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ride in a separate facility on oak and fell and that they would prefer traffic signals as opposed to the stop signs and on the flattest route. >> supervisor olague: how does this relate to the bike plan. is there any reference to some of these projects? >> actually the planning department could probably speak better to that. >> to answers your question, supervisor olague, the oak street introduction of a new bike lane on oak street was included as a long-term improvement project in the bike lane, but did not receive specific environmental review because the project designs were not available, or weren't created for the best specific project. other aspects of the project fall under the minor improvements that were outlined in the bike plan, and those are, you know, the different advanced -- lines and -- boxes and things like that.
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and those are -- those were the only aspects of the project that were outlined in the bike plan eir. >> supervisor olague: traffic lanes aren't removed. >> no. it's just only the oak street and am commute traffic lane being removed. >> supervisor olague: for a couple of hours? >> that's just turning -- they're using -- literally create that bike lane. >> supervisor olague: thank you. >> president chiu: colleagues, any other questions to the mta? seeing none, why don't we hear now from members of the public that wish to speak on behalf of the project sponsor, ask folks if you can keep your comments to less than two minutes. first speaker please. >> my name is lawrence lee, i'm on the board of lower haight merchants and neighbors association. i would like to reiterate that yeah, we were involved with extensive outreach that the city put on. and during all that outreach, members of the community were invited to weigh in on various
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options, and elements. and the solution that was eventually approved was something that we were in favor of, which included minor alterations to the existing conditions that namely traded parking for safer travel for bicycles and pedestrians. so with that in mind, we support planning department determination of the project's exemption because the appeal does not support our neighborhood's need for improved safety for the residents, or visitors coming into our neighborhood. and this project is very important. it does serve our neighborhood significantly. in fact, delays to this project would be harmful to our safety and we're quite concerned about that. so we urge you to always uphold these type of exemptions because, you know, this is how
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we are able to make improvements to our neighborhood. thank you. >> president chiu: next speaker please. >> good evening, supervisors. i'm elizabeth stampe, executive director of walk san francisco. and i'm here to encourage you to reject this appeal and affirm the planning department's decision to get these improvements happening as soon as possible on fell and oak, to calm traffic, and improve safety. these include 12 new bulbouts as you've heard, a shortened crossing district distance and increased visibility, and add new street greening. the traffic signals will be adjusted for lower speeds, safer speeds. these are important fixes to make some of the highest speed streets in our city closest to
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our most beloved park more safe for people walking. it clearly -- this project clearly falls into a categorical exemption from a full environmental review. it is clearly minor. and a reversal of the exemption would really set a bad precedent, forcing full reviews on traffic calming projects, even small scale fixes like bulbouts as well as other sustainable design improvements. a reversal would delay not only these current improvements that are much-needed as the previous speaker said on fell and oak, but critical projects in the future. we need safer streets sooner, not with more delays. so thank you very much. >> good evening, supervisors. my name is jason henderson, i'm with the hayes valley neighborhood association. the hvna enthusiastically endorsed this project and we ask that you reject this appeal.
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i've participated in multiple meetings on this project. there was a thorough public process. density has been mentioned. the real problem that we acknowledge in hayes valley is the density of cars is the real problem, not the density of people. in fact, we're disappointed that the fell and oak project didn't reduce a lane and look at the whole corridor. but that's another matter and we understand compromise. and so removing the parking was the compromise. and there's no significant impact on automobile intersection level of service, as much as i would like us to get away from using that metric, i do understand that metric and this project has thoroughly looked at that. therefore, there is no impact on transit, the 16x. the impacts on pedestrians is only positive. so there's no significant environmental impact there.
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and the impacts on bicycles is only positive. so there's no significant impact there. some of the other issues raised were noise. that struck me as kind of interesting. in my own understanding of transportation noise, the faster you go, the noisier it gets. so by calming and slowing traffic, you have less noise. the safety issue, slower traffic is safer. so the air quality issue struck me. this is a conundrum in regional planning. the general direction, and particularly with ceqa, is to look at the regional air quality and the regional greenhouse gas emissions. the way you do that is to reduce the vehicle miles traveled. this is the kind of project that gets you to your 20% most -- >> good evening, supervisors. my name is morgan fits gibbons
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here on behalf of the wig party. we work to make the wiggle more sustainable and resilient. i'm here to make a couple of points on behalf of the hundreds and hundreds of people in our organization that live in the neighborhood. the first point has already been mentioned is that this plan was born through a terribly expensive community process, and kudos to the mta for leading a great process. so this is definitely the will of the people. people want their bike lanes on fell and oak. the second point is from may to october, a full five months, the only thing that was happening on this project was the planning department was addressing this very issue of the environmental impact report and if we're now going to go back and look over their work and double back i think maybe we should just consider firing the entire planning department, mak maybe e can solve some of our budgetary issues this evening. the third issue is -- i'm sure the members of the board are well aware that in 1973 your
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predecessors passed a law that made san francisco a transit first city. here we are 40 years later talking about removing a bike lane because there are too many private automobiles that will be going around looking for parking. we're not talking about doing initiatives to improve car share or the hundreds of people who will not have to use a car because of these bike lanes. we're talking about removing a bike lane for private automobiles which is so profoundly idiotic. i think it really boggles the mind. the last point is really to reiterate what i told mta board which is that we're living in a time -- crisis this is a time when we need bold action. we don't need two and a half years of looking at six blocks on fell and oak. we have other cities laughing at us, chicago, minneapolis, portland, new york. i encourage you to reject the
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appeal. thank you. >> president chiu: walter, his you've already participated in this public comment. no, you can't, actually. thank you. are there any other members of the public that wish to speak in public comment on behalf of the project sponsor? okay. why don't we invite back the appellants for up to three minutes for their rebuttal. >> good evening, mark brennan. mta and mea have not demonstrated class 1 or a categorical exemption exists. there is no bike lane that currently exists. the changes are not minor alterations because onstreet parking will be removed, concrete plantares and buffers added and a commute lane
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added -- during commute hours. in order to rely on a categorical exemption agency must provide substantial echedz thaevidence that the project is within the exempt category. they have not conducted a transit analysis that cover the second area and cumulative impacts only rhetoric. the city has a duty to investigate the impacts a project will have. categorical exemptions are not absolute. an exemption must be denied if there is reasonable possibility of a significant effect on the environment due to unusual circumstances. or if, quote, significant cumulative impacts from projects of the same type will result. this plan will cause significant direct secondary and cumulative impacts, increase delays on oak, fell, and intersecting streets due to direct and secondary parking impacts, signal timing changes amounted cumulative
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impact on traffic and public safety due to removal of parking, embedments to turning, access to and from the 31 curb cuts that will be affected and reduced visibility on such busy corridors. the masonic avenue bicycle project is only three blocks away yet the city claims they do not overlap so this should not be studied. the masonic plan will remove 167 parking spaces and all commute lanes. there is a target store planned on masonic and geary which will add to the traffic in the area. removing the commuter lane, adding raised plantares throughout the buffer strip and removing over 90 parking spaces constitutes an unusual circumstance of the project. proposed parking mitigation peat adequate. this is a highly dense touristy area and a main east-west corridor. there's no one else -- impact on neighboring streets such as
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hayes paige and haight street. part six -- is a priority street. finally, because the fell and oak project is obviously part of the greater plan to create bike lanes ceqa analysis should be done in connection with the eir for the san francisco bicycle plan project not piecemealed from the larger project that is ceqa rule. determination -- the determination made no effort to address the fell oak project in the larger context of the citywide bicycle projects. >> president chiu: thank you very much. colleagues, any final questions to the appellants, project sponsor or any other parties in this hearing? okay. seeing none, this hearing's been held and closed. colleagues, this item is in the hands of the board. supervisor olague. >> supervisor olague: i just wanted to move to affirm the exemption determination of the san francisco mta and agency fell and oak streets bikeways
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projects so my motion would be to affirm the determination of the planning department that the san francisco fell and oak project is exempt from environmental review. >> president chiu: motion made toaire firm the categorical exemption tabling items 42, 43, seconded by supervisor campos. discussion? supervisor wiener. >> supervisor wiener: thank you, mr. president. you know, i just want to -- i think i made this point when i was questioning the appellant about how important it is to understand that this appeal is not an appeal on the merits, that is not what this board does. the mta board directors was entrusted by the voters to make these policy decisions. and that's where a lot of the arguments were raised tonight in opposition to this project are i'm sure were directed at the mta board of directors and that was the appropriate forum. this is about ceqa. and one can love or hate this
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project, but this is about our application of ceqa. and i do believe that if we were to require an eir tonight, we would be setting a significant precedent for future efforts to do all sorts of different projects to improve safety on our streets, whether you're -- because if you require an eir to remove net 55 parking spots what about adding net 55 parking spots what about taking a surface parking lot and -- a building there and remove those parking spots would that require a full eir for a two story building that i'm building or if you are building a bunch of bulbouts it would create a significant precedent in my view. and so i think that the planning department's determination was correct, and i will be supporting the affirmation of the cat ex. >> president chiu: supervisor elsbernd. >> supervisor elsbernd: if there's any reason to support
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his efforts on ceqa reform this last hour and a half should be something that you keep in your memory banks as you consider that legislation next year. >> president chiu: supervisor farrell. >> supervisor farrell: i want to associate my comments with supervisor wiener and president chiu in your comments earlier in your questioning, appreciate the argument on the merits here. i empathize with a number of them but this is not the place. this is a ceqa appeal. i agree with president chiu's question so i will be supporting the -- upholding the eir as well. >> president chiu: supervisor chu. >> supervisor chu: i want to thank the appellants for coming to speak. taking a look at the project itself there are things i support, that will improve the safety of the residents in the area, including the bulbouts and a number of other aspects. the area i'm not so comfortable with is the parking issue. i think that impact is something that unfortunately i would like to see less parking being lost as a result of the improvements. that being said, there is an
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exemption within ceqa for this kind of a project and because of that, in applying those rules, i think that we need to actually uphold this exemption. and so unfortunately, i won't be voting to do -- or to uphold your appeal at this moment but again i do think that the parking issue is a large one. >> president chiu: any further discussion? mr. clerk, roll call vote on the motion. >> supervisor farrell, aye. supervisor kim, aye. supervisor mar, aye. supervisor olague, aye. supervisor wiener, aye. supervisor avalos, aye. supervisor campos, aye. >> president chiu, aye. >> supervisor chu, aye. >> supervisor cohen, aye. >> supervisor elsbernd, aye. mr. president, we have 11 ayes. >> president chiu: the motion passes the categorical exemption is affirmed. colleagues, why don't we go back to general public comment.
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and hear from members of the public that wish to speak near generally. if i could ask members of the public to excuse yourself from the chamber quietly so we can continue with business. let's hear from the first speaker please. walter. >> thanks. finally. when are you going to get a movie here? when are you going to get some work for us. i thought of a new movie that a supervisor finishes a long term and then he goes in this movie right to the airport, he's gone. leaves -- you ever seen the movie, the stepfather? it sounds like a good -- a little change of a movie. but it sounds like a good one. he leaves the city, just leaves it after that. and thanks for being here. thanks for your work, supervisor elsbernd. and thanks for elsbernd being in your morning, thanks for being here in our nights.
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♪ thanks for changing whatever's wrong, and make it right. ♪ let me wander through this wonderland that the city we do share, and i thank you for always being there. ♪ and i thank you for being supervisor here ♪ christina, thanks for being here, christina, the truth is you never left us, all through our city wild days, our mad supervisor existence, and most of all you kept your promises ♪
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♪ what's your city's name? ♪ who's your mayor? is he rich? is he rich like we? ♪ has he taken any time to show you what you city need to live? ♪ it's the time of the season -- >> president chiu: thank you. next speaker. >> good evening. my name is barbara tangori. i've been living across the bay in oakland for several decades, but i do come back and forth, working on several campaigns. but i'm here tonight particularly for one person, who impressed me tremendously for her gutsy vote for sheriff ross mirkarimi to go back to work as sheriff of this city.
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christina olague, you were appointed into the position. you took a risk, and i admire you for your principle, rather than the political part of it. thank you very much. and i wish you all the very best. and i'm so glad i was here tonight because i heard a lot of wonderful things. i've never talked top pu i've never met you. i've never even crossed the aisle with you, you know, anywhere. so thank you so much. and i wish you all the very best. and supervisor kim, i was very much surprised. thank you for your vote. supervisor avalos and supervisor campos, i always thought, from the very beginning, because all we needed was just two supervisor votes, to bring him back as sheriff. thank you so very much. and i'm -- asked one of the sheriffs here this evening, i think he's gone now, how is
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sheriff ross mirkarimi's doing, and he said he's doing wonderfully. i am very happy to hear that. i wish him, his wife, and their son, all the very best. happy holidays to everybody, and i wish you a very happy new year. good night. >> president chiu: thank you very much. let me just remind members of the public we do have a board rule in the chamber that you should address your comments to all members of the board not to individual members of the board but appreciate the comment. thank you very much. >> i apologize. i was not aware of that. >> president chiu: no worries. thank you. next speaker. >> my name is tammy brian. i hope you will indulge me because it's the supervisor's last evening and i am specifically here but it's for everybody because i think it's important that everybody hear the comments i'm about to make and i'm going to have to read this off. i've lived in fillmore since
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1983 and have been affected by homicide and this is a pressing issue that drivers me to do everything that i do so it's on that note i want to thank supervisor olague for her years. she has been an exemplary leader. in that short time you were our supervisor. in the short time that you were our supervisor you demonstrated your commitment to your constituents and the people of san francisco. i would say more but in the interest of limited time i want to be sure to thank you for your vote to reinstate sheriff mirkarimi. that vote was indeed what the majority of your d5 constituents expected and contrary to what some have said that is not at all why you were not elected. the sheriff was a very popular and well-respected supervisor, and our district strongly supported his reinstatement. your vote to reinstate him actually earned you votes and significantly increased your support in the district. i want to go on record speaking as a domestic violence survivor
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for myself and others we know your vote does not mean you condone or minimize the scourge of domestic violence but demonstrates your ability to vote on fact and law rather than emotion. the attacks on you were some pr consultant -- to make a false -- against you. you can leave office with your head held high knowing you did the morally and legally correct thing. the attacks on you have highlighted just how ha rampant racism is. one of the values you have taught me was about servant leadership and that is why i'm sure the right was galvanized to defeat you. they knew your -- >> president chiu: thank you very much. next speaker. >> good evening, supervisors. david elliott lewis. i'm here to thank supervisor olague for her service.
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i have to admit when mayor lee first appointed you -- first appointed the supervisor, i was a little leery. i thought maybe she will be beholding to the mayor for her votes, because sort of the payback of the appointment. but i was proven wrong. supervisor olague has shown independence in her thought, in her thinking, in her voting. and of all the tributes that were given to her tonight by her fellow supervisors i especially appreciated jane kim's comments about supervisor olague having heart and mind. and i think that is so true. if i could say anything, that's what i would say about your virtues, a woman of great compassion, and a brilliant mind. and you will be missed. and i hope you'll stay involved in public life. i know you've made comments about looking forward to the peace and quiet of a post-supervisor retirement. but i hope you will stay involved in some way.
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that's all. i just want to thank you for your service, thank you, and you'll be missed. bye. >> president chiu: next speaker please. >> good evening, honorable supervisors, president chiu. i'm here -- my name is -- i'm here -- my usual self, and i'm honored to be able to have opportunity -- well i'd like to address her personally, but supervisors, the older i get, i notice less people are doing the right thing, the correct thing, and whether publicly expedient thing. one of the people that -- going in my struggle, my fight, which is very personal, it is to see -- of elected officials who go about considerations of political experience

December 11, 2012 6:00pm-6:30pm PST

TOPIC FREQUENCY Chiu 19, San Francisco 6, Us 5, Farrell 3, Chu 3, Campos 3, Mta 2, Kim 2, Avalos 2, Hayes 2, Wiener 2, Ross Mirkarimi 2, Chicago 1, Portland 1, Minneapolis 1, New York 1, Panhandle 1, Mar 1, Transit First City 1, Oakland 1
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